Biology

Offered as a major (B.A. or B.S.) and a minor

Biologists study many aspects of how life operates – from the molecular details of cells to how entire ecosystems function.

You’ll examine all aspects of the biological world, preparing you for a successful career in health, research, or teaching.

The Curriculum
Learn the fundamentals, then expand your scope

Your first courses will give you a solid understanding of biological systems from the molecular to ecological level. With this foundational knowledge, you’ll be able to explore more advanced subjects, including:

  • Marine biology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer biology
  • Microbiology
Take an active approach

We emphasize “doing” science. Throughout your classes, you’ll work side-by-side with your professors in the lab and field to discover key insights about your subjects — gaining invaluable hands-on experience along the way.

Experiment — a lot!

The heart of the biology major is experimentation, and you’ll do lots of it. You’ll design your own experiments, collect scientific data, perform statistical analysis, and share your conclusions through research papers and presentations.

Expand your research

You’ll be able to further the research from your classes — or even start ambitious new experiments — with opportunities available through our:

Share your findings

You’ll present your original research at the Festival of Scholars and the Student Research Symposium. These annual events — in addition to scholarly conferences across the nation — will allow you to directly engage the larger scientific community.

Network with academic peers and working professionals

By joining the TriBeta National Biological Honor Society, you’ll be plugged into a strong community of scientists who share your passions and goals. If you are pursuing a health-related field, there are several active student-run clubs that will connect you with professionals currently working in your future career.

Choose between a B.S. or B.A. degree

If you’re considering a career in health or research, a bachelor of science degree is likely the one you’ll wish to pursue, as it provides additional courses that are essential to these professions.

If your goal is to teach — or if you wish to add a minor or second major — a bachelor of arts degree may serve you better. You can also choose to earn your teaching credential through our Graduate School of Education’s credential program.

The Experience
Photo of student or faculty

To me, research and teaching are variations on the same theme: educating students. I view my research with students as an extension of the classroom. More student research means more opportunity to provide a better educational experience.

Kristopher Karsten
Assistant Professor
Photo of student or faculty

I learned more about what to expect out of the trial and error process and how to encounter the unexpected in a lab setting. It taught me patience and allowed me to express creativity with my ideas.

Danielle Renee Montoya '15

Read Danielle's Story

Your Future

Careers in biology are available in both the private and public sector. These include positions in research, teaching, and the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries.

The growing areas of genetics and biotechnology also provide many career opportunities. The global biotechnology companies Amgen and Baxalta are located near Cal Lutheran and hire graduates each year.

Many biology majors are accepted into medical, dental, and graduate schools. As an undergrad, you’ll benefit from resources like our Pre-Med Advising Program, which prepares students for the challenges of medical school and allied health programs.

Our alumni study at:

  • Mayo Medical Clinic
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Southern California
  • Western School of Health Sciences
  • Southern California College of Optometry
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Palmer West School of Chiropractors
  • Marshall University
  • Tufts University
  • Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital

They work for:

  • Amgen
  • Baxter Bioscience
  • BioSource International
  • CA Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Invitrogen
  • Mobile Marine Lab
  • Sea World
  • Ventura County Crime Lab

Career paths:

  • Biotechnology Associate
  • Research Associate
  • Lab Technician
  • Research Associate
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Community Health Coordinator

Every class I took at Cal Lutheran, just about, had some kind of hands-on component. I also went above and beyond and took undergraduate research. That was what was so exciting as an undergrad, to have that opportunity to spend one-on-one tie with my advisor, developing the experiment, carrying it out, and then realizing, well, I was incorrect, but that’s okay.

Melissa Baffa ’95

VP of Program and Volunteer Services with Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast
Science Communication Fellow on the E/V Nautilus with Ocean Exploration Trust

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